These simple loaf cake recipes are baked in a loaf pan and delicious to the last crumb! From triple chocolate to classic lemon, you’ll love these easy loaf cake recipes for dessert or whenever you crave cake.
Simple to make and easy to serve, loaf cakes come together quickly in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer. Mix up the batter in less than 30 minutes and you’re ready to bake!
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These are some of my favorite ways to flavor loaf cakes:
- Fresh lemon zest or orange zest
- Vanilla extract or pure almond extract
- Blood orange or lemon syrup for a moist crumb
- Warming spices (cinnamon, ground ginger) for a cozy loaf
- Dutch process cocoa for a fudgy chocolate loaf
- Nutella swirl or cream cheese swirl
Tips for Loaf Cake Success
Use room temperature ingredients – Bring butter, eggs, and any dairy used in the cake to room temperature before beginning. This includes milk, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and sour cream. Room temperature ingredients incorporate more easily and create a smooth cake batter.
Baking pans – I use and recommend light aluminum loaf pans. Light-colored pans conduct heat evenly. They also ensure that your cakes don’t over-brown on the sides or top too quickly during the baking process.
Prep the pan – To prepare nonstick loaf pans, add an even layer of baking spray before spooning in the batter.
If you’re concerned about the cake sticking, or you’re making a delicate loaf cake, line the pan with parchment paper for extra insurance. I also use parchment whenever I’m baking a cake with berries or fruit, which add extra moisture.
To prepare the pan, lightly spray the bottom and sides with nonstick spray. Line the loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper, letting excess extend an inch or two over the sides of the pan.
Once your loaf cake is baked and slightly cooled, use the parchment overhang as handles to lift the cake from the pan to a cooling rack.
Don’t overmix the batter – Once you’ve added the dry and wet ingredients, mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated (no flour streaks remain).
If your loaf cake has any mix-ins (like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coconut, berries), use a rubber spatula to very gently fold them into the batter. This ensures the texture of your loaf cake will be moist and tender.
Bake loaf cake – Baking times will vary based on the amount of moisture in the recipe. Generally speaking, most loaf cakes baked in a 9×5-inch loaf pan will bake at 350°F for 45 to 55 minutes.
How to Make Mini Loaf Cakes
Most loaf cakes recipes convert easily to mini-loaf pans. Divide batter evenly between three mini (5 3/4″ x 3 3/4″) pans. Place mini loaves on a preheated baking sheet and bake for approximately 24 to 28 minutes, or until cakes spring back to the touch.
How do I know when my loaf cake is done?
To check if your cake is done baking, gently tap the top with your finger. The cake will spring back to the touch, and the edges of the cake will pull slightly away from the sides of the pan.
When your loaf cake is fully cooked, a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean or with a few dry crumbs attached. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter or gummy crumbs, the cake needs a few more minutes in the oven.
My favorite toppings include a simple dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of sweet lemon glaze, or a swirl of chocolate ganache. I also love serving citrus loaf cake with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries.
How to Freeze Loaf Cakes
Transfer baked loaf cake to a wire rack and cool completely. Once cool, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. After 1 hour, wrap the cake tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil (or place in a freezer bag). Freeze for up to 2 months for best texture and flavor.
When you’re ready to enjoy, defrost the cake overnight in the refrigerator (still covered to prevent condensation from forming). Bring to room temperature and add any topping (glaze, ganache, or frosting) before serving.
To freeze cake slices, use a serrated knife to slice the loaf cake and wrap each slice in plastic wrap. Store the slices in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw slices at room temperature.
Best Loaf Cake Recipes
And now, the best loaf cake recipes! Here you’ll find a collection of simple and delicious loaf cakes, including rich chocolate ganache loaf cake, the perfect raspberry lemon loaf cake, and cozy cinnamon swirl loaf cake.
Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake
Triple chocolate loaf cake is a chocolate lover’s dream! With a triple hit of chocolate, you’ll love this easy chocolate cake.
Raspberry Lemon Loaf Cake
Raspberry lemon loaf cake drizzled with lemon glaze and topped with fresh raspberries is the perfect anytime cake!
Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Simple and delicious chocolate chip loaf cake topped with chocolate ganache! Each bite is tender and filled with chocolate chips.
Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
This easy Meyer lemon loaf cake drizzled with sweet lemon glaze is bright and buttery with a tender crumb. The perfect cake for citrus season!
Chocolate Ganache Loaf Cake
The best cake for chocolate lovers! Rich and fudgy, this deeply chocolate loaf cake delivers rich chocolate flavor thanks to Dutch process baking cocoa and high quality chocolate.
Fresh Strawberry Loaf Cake
Fresh strawberry loaf cake makes the best dessert for berry season! You’ll love this buttery vanilla loaf cake with swirls of fresh strawberry frosting.
Nutella Swirl Loaf Cake
A simple and delicious Nutella swirl loaf cake featuring swirls of Nutella fudge frosting! This easy recipe is perfect for any occasion!
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake
Plush and buttery vanilla cake is paired with a cinnamon-sugar ribbon and topping for an effortless loaf cake that tastes like snickerdoodle cookies.
Almond Blood Orange Pound Cake
Almond blood orange pound cake is the perfect treat for citrus season! Topped with blood orange glaze, you’ll love this soft and tender pound cake.
Meyer Lemon Earl Grey Tea Cake
Simple and delicious Meyer lemon Earl Grey tea cake drizzled with lemon glaze! This cakes makes a perfect treat with a cup of tea.
Orange Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake
Orange almond poppy seed tea cake makes the most delicious cake! Flavored with almond paste and fresh orange zest, this soft loaf cake is topped with a sweet orange drizzle.
Chocolate Pound Cake
With a tangy cream cheese swirl and rich chocolate chip topping, this is the best chocolate pound cake.
Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake
Made with Greek yogurt and citrus olive oil, this stir-together loaf cake comes together quickly (no mixer required) and bakes up incredibly tender and delicious.
Blackberry Lemon Loaf Cake
Flavored with lemon zest, vanilla, and studded with fresh blackberries, this easy blackberry lemon loaf cake is drizzled with sweet lemon glaze!
Apple Crumble Loaf Cake
Perfectly spiced, this tender apple crumble loaf cake is topped with buttery crumble and maple butter glaze for a delicious taste of fall!
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